Small “Crack” on Ivory Grip Panel - Additional Character, or Beginning of the End?

Discussion in '1911 Gear' started by WhoIsJohnGalt?, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. WhoIsJohnGalt?

    WhoIsJohnGalt? We Are! Supporting Addict

    Feb 20, 2018
    Not long ago, I noticed that a small crack or line has formed on one of the ivory grip panels on this 1911 as shown. It appears to be on the surface only. It can be felt if you run the edge of a fingernail over it. It wasn’t present when I bought them from the prior owner, so it’s happened on my watch. I’ve left the grips installed, removing them only during cleaning. The crack doesn’t appear to have spread or expanded after continued carry and range sessions.

    As a first-time “real ivory” grip owner, I’m not sure if this is perfectly normal or a sign that my run with these grips may conclude sooner rather than later.

    Input / thoughts / commiserations equally welcomed. :)

    Edited to add: I feel like I should subtitle this post: “Travails of the First-World 1911 Owner” haha...


    B150882B-BD84-490E-978E-B01B2F910508.jpeg
     
    xerts1191 likes this.
  2. 7.62Kolectr

    7.62Kolectr On guard

    Jun 6, 2018
    Sure you didn’t tighten the grip screw down too much and crack it then?
     

  3. WhoIsJohnGalt?

    WhoIsJohnGalt? We Are! Supporting Addict

    Feb 20, 2018
    Entirely possible (sadly). The crack is not “at” the grip screw opening but close as you can see. I do use Challis O-rings as well as their bushings on this gun (not that that may matter).
     
  4. Guy Montag

    Guy Montag Well-Known Member

    673
    Oct 24, 2014
    You're rolling the dice with any additional range time IMO, display only.
     
    WhoIsJohnGalt? likes this.
  5. WhoIsJohnGalt?

    WhoIsJohnGalt? We Are! Supporting Addict

    Feb 20, 2018
    I’ve held onto some able replacements for just such an occasion ha - not ivories but other materials.
     
  6. xerts1191

    xerts1191 Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2017
    Character crack, carry on.
     
    WhoIsJohnGalt? likes this.
  7. Capthobo

    Capthobo NRA Endowment member Supporting Addict

    Nov 9, 2016
    Are you sure it’s a crack? And possibly not a scratch with dirt in it?
    I doesn’t look deep enough in the sub surface to be a crack when I zoom in.
    Take a look at it with a jewelers loupe or high magnification glasses.
     
  8. BigJimP

    BigJimP Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2018
    Hard to tell for sure....but chances are it will probably get worse.

    It can happen with any "natural" material....wood like "Cocobolo", ivory, etc.../ man made materials are more forgiving...laminated woods, etc...

    If they were mine...I would probably keep shooting the gun with them...if it cracks all the way thru - so be it. I would keep using the o-rings under the grip screws ...and just not overtighten them....and hope for the best. Regardless of how the crack happened...the value is gone anyway / so why not just keep them on the gun vs just for display.
     
    FWoo45, WhoIsJohnGalt? and limbkiller like this.
  9. Karsten

    Karsten Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2013
    Super glue from the inside and hold a vacuum to draw the glue outwards....Might need some light sanding and Polish.

    Karsten
     
    WhoIsJohnGalt? likes this.
  10. pistolwretch

    pistolwretch Dremel jockey Supporting Addict

    Aug 26, 2011
    Bend a piece of wire into a 'U'.
    Use a Dremel to create a channel for the 'U' to sit into that straddles the crack.
    Now embed it with JB Weld.
    On the backside/inside of course!
    Carefully sand the repair flush.
    Should be good to go.
     
  11. Karsten

    Karsten Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2013

    Now if using JB Weld heat it it in a Tin with a hair drier or lightly with a heat gun and it will flow better other wise it is a thick paste.

    Karsten
     
    WhoIsJohnGalt? likes this.
  12. Busa Dave

    Busa Dave Well-Known Member

    Mar 3, 2018
    I have quite a few ivory grips. From the pics looks like they were not fitted correctly to the gun and then overtightened and because of the force against the ivory eventually fractured. Do not feel bad even perfectly fitted it is possible with much less force than one would think to cause a fracture to start.

    Bottom line here this is not a scratch at least to me when ---- notice the centerline with the screw hole. Time to retire these. Yes super glue can work but most people do not have great success the first time. Maybe someone here can help you.
     
    WhoIsJohnGalt? likes this.
  13. WhoIsJohnGalt?

    WhoIsJohnGalt? We Are! Supporting Addict

    Feb 20, 2018
    Thanks, all, I appreciate all input here.

    The crack / line / whatever is on the surface only. Backside of the panel is fine and shows no evidence of a fissure.

    I will take a more magnified look at things.

    For the moment, I am inclined to just let ‘em ride and keep a close watch on them, and finally retire them if / as the situation degrades further.
     
    BigSkyGuy and xerts1191 like this.
  14. Capthobo

    Capthobo NRA Endowment member Supporting Addict

    Nov 9, 2016
    There is a comparable product I’ve used other than JB Weld that is white if your afraid of color bleed through from the dark gray of JB Weld.
    It’s called Marine Tex. Available at most marine supplies and all West Marine stores. Comes White or gray. Have used it for over 40 years with very good results.
    http://marinetex.com/products/marine-tex-products/marine-tex-epoxy-putty/
     
  15. WhoIsJohnGalt?

    WhoIsJohnGalt? We Are! Supporting Addict

    Feb 20, 2018
    @Busa Dave - to your point, I’d forgotten an important something about the early life of these grips since I’ve owned them.

    They were first mounted on a Colt that had stair / safety tape on the grip frontstrap (I know - ivories and grip tape are probably a bad mix ha!) - and now I wonder if the slight difference in surface “thickness” (part of the grip panel snug to the frame but part against the tape) and potential overtightening might have done the grips in there, or least set them up for trouble later. They’ve been moved to gun with front strap checkering as you can see. I have absolutely been known to overtighten a grip screw or three in my time, that’s for sure.

    Well, again - the input of this Forum is a huge help and I appreciate it all.
     
    Busa Dave likes this.
  16. Busa Dave

    Busa Dave Well-Known Member

    Mar 3, 2018
    AS I SAID ABOVE!! Do not feel bad---I broke a set in the past myself!!! Not proud of it but it was my fault 100%!
     
    WhoIsJohnGalt? likes this.
  17. BigJimP

    BigJimP Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2018
    But we all wish you good luck...and hope the crack/ line gets no worse...!!
     
    WhoIsJohnGalt? likes this.
  18. ORShooter

    ORShooter Just outsided the realm of Crazy!

    Nov 28, 2018
    This should fix it and blend right in!:grin:

    [​IMG]
     
    WhoIsJohnGalt? likes this.
  19. ORShooter

    ORShooter Just outsided the realm of Crazy!

    Nov 28, 2018
    Kidding, I hope it doesn't get worse. They haven't even had the chance to age yet!
     
    WhoIsJohnGalt? likes this.
  20. tac45

    tac45 What me worry ? Supporting Addict

    Mar 4, 2012
    Submerge the grips in a quality mineral oil overnight ( or longer )
    Every 6mo , this will prevent them from cracking due to humidity and temperature change ,this should prevent further cracking .
    Do not over tighten when reinstalling.
     

You need 3 posts to add links to your posts! This is used to prevent spam.

Verification:
Draft saved Draft deleted